Shifting Standards

I’ve been thinking about how our standards have changed over time. For instance, Twiggy emerged as the beauty standard in the 1960s.


A lovely gal, yet her dimensions set off a chain reaction in women everywhere: how can I look like that? Her iconic slenderness changed the course of modeling. Models used to look like this:


Where did the curves go?!


Skinny jeans still rule the fashion world. I even have a couple of pairs, though they have yet to make me any skinnier. Right now, boots are everywhere. Living in the Pacific Northwest, cute little Audrey Hepburn-style flats prove impractical except for about a month a year. Boots make sense. You can wear them at least 7 months of the year.

One of my friends informed me leggings have fallen out of vogue. His wife tried to wear them and his daughter, a high school senior, told her to go change. “Mom, leggings are so last year.” I’ll let you imagine the sigh and eye roll accompanying that announcement.

Granted, I don’t live in the fashion capital of the world. People still wear pajamas to the store upon occasion. But I look around, and the changes don’t only apply to beauty standards. Spanking lost favor long ago. Timeouts and “safe places” are in. The popularity of gas-guzzling SUVs has been superseded by more economical cars as the price of gas and political correctness pressure continues to rise. Just peek at reality TV to see who and what we admire now. I won’t even mention the Kardashians.

So many things change on a regular basis. It’s hard to keep up. Heck, even our scale weighs me 8 lbs. heavier if I move it out of its sweet spot. But Jesus doesn’t vary. He is who He says He is, every day of the year. I find peace and comfort in the fact that His word never changes. His love is unfailing, even when everything around me spins out of control. Meanwhile I’ll hold onto the earrings I wore in high school. Hey, they still fit me! Maybe they’ll be cool again someday.

For the word of the Lord holds true,
    and we can trust everything he does.
He loves whatever is just and good;
    the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. – Psalm 33:4-5








Welcome, 2017!

Bring on the new beginnings! Starting today. Because yesterday turned out to be a rest day. Which happens when you actually make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve and you’re not in your 20s anymore.

Frankly, folks,  I got so discouraged during the fall, it’s taken me awhile to gather hope for a new year. I’m finally ready to take on 2017.

And so, let’s roll on.

I did the math. I worked out 260 times last year. That’s just over 71% of the year. It seems accurate, considering illnesses and just general weariness.

  • I’d like to push that to 300 or more this year. That averages out to about 6 days a week.

Also, I don’t find I have the time to put into training for half marathons right now. It’s not where I want to spend my precious free time. But I do want to up my annual mileage.

  • I want to run 750 miles this year.

That’s almost how far it would be to travel from Shelton to San Francisco, CA, one of my favorite cities. See?


It’s actually 766 miles away from Shelton’s center, give or take a fraction of a mile. I can track how far I’ve gone as the year progresses. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make it all the way to San Jose.

In other news, I also want to…

  • Read the Bible through in a year. I did a devotional plan with commentary last year. It was alright. Yet I found I didn’t get enough of the Word in me. I’m going after it again this year. I need more wisdom and understanding. I can think of no better place to get it.

While we’re talking about Scripture, an old friend of mine posted on Facebook that she sought the Lord each year for a scripture to meditate on, and another one that would motivate her actions for the year. I loved this idea and decided to jump on it myself. I haven’t gotten the meditation one yet, but I believe the motivational one is this:

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. – Proverbs 17:22

  • I want to be someone who brings encouragement and refreshing to those around me. Every day we learn of some fresh horrors. The future can look bleak, especially this time of year with spring so very far off and Christmas a fading memory. This means, of course, that I need to mind how I speak and think. If I complain or join in the gossiping, I’m only bringing the general tone down. I also realize this will take time and effort. I can start again when I mess up.

Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:

 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning. – Lamentations 3:21-23

We *can* start again, right where we are. The new year is a great time to do it, but truly, any day of the week will do. What are some of your goals? Do you make resolutions? I would love to hear from you.






Christmas in June

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

I want one!  Image from

I want one! Image from

I came across this passage in my Bible reading plan today.  At first I thought:  this is for Christmas.  It’s out of place here, us on the cusp of summer.

But is it?

On second thought, I’m rather glad to meditate on it now.  I need to remember the Christ child when the kids are whiny. I should recall The Babe when Jonathon and I communicate clumsily.  It’s good to think about Advent when things at work get explosive. Not me and my dusty boxes, mind you, but other departments. And…to remember wearing black while unfurling the ancient scrolls from the wastewater treatment plant of 1977 will net you a dust bunny-covered midsection. But I digress.

So I’m thinking about the holidays, albeit briefly. I’m thankful God gave Jesus to us. Because of Him we have hope, not just at Christmas time, but every day.